Andre Alfred has never been afraid of bold moves. Since his high school days, IT had been an important part of his life. He wasn’t afraid to start his career by jumping into traveling jobs with long hours, eager to learn every step of the way. His bold moves helped him move up on the ladder, meet his wife, and improve his technical skills every day. A simple LinkedIn request turned into a full-blown move across the country for his family so he could start a more prestigious job.
And the bold moves didn’t stop there.
While at his new job, Andre found himself being called on to make business decisions that his technical experience just couldn’t help him with. It was time for another bold move—this time to go to college and get a degree. A degree had always been important to Andre, but work and daily life had put a degree lower on his priority list. Now, it was time to make his move.
Andre enrolled in the Bachelor’s of IT Management program at WGU, which allowed him to get the business skills and knowledge he needed for his job.. He was able to learn more about finance, statistics, and business processes that were vital to his job—things he hadn’t learned as a self-taught programmer.
Never backing down from a challenge, Andre embraced his schoolwork fully. He utilized WGU’s competency-based education model to accelerate through his courses. Competency-based education allowed Andre to finish a course as quickly as he could master the material. His experience gave him a great advantage so he was able to move quickly through his courses. 8 months was all it took for Andre to have a diploma, and confidence in his abilities to handle full-time schooling and full-time work. He continued working full-time while he was getting his degree, benefiting from his courses right away.
“Everything I learned I was able to apply immediately,” he said with a laugh. Every course enhanced his job performance and helped him with his daily responsibilities. Andre said that while his courses were challenging, he would do it again in a heartbeat.
And the bold moves just kept coming.
“The day I graduated from WGU, I applied at the MIT Executive MBA Program,” Andre said, smiling. He had gotten a taste of higher education, and wasn’t ready to stop. He found that his WGU bachelor’s degree was a perfect starting place for his educational journey.
“During the admissions process, there was an openness with regard to the WGU competency-model,” he added. He found it important that his WGU degree was taken seriously by MIT and said his coursework had done a great job of preparing him for additional schooling as well as his career. Andre worked hard to graduate with his MBA from MIT, and wasn’t ready to stop.
Andre is currently enrolled in a Doctorate program at The George Washington University, learning more about business and IT processes and how they work together. Along with his bold degree moves, Andre’s career has now taken him to Senior Director position at Oracle.
“I am now running a large engineering organization, where I’m able to apply the MBA skills and the IT management skills that I picked up from WGU in my career, blending that into a terminal degree for the Doctorate to be able to continue to build these world-class systems for Oracle,” Andre said.
What started as a bold move to begin his education at WGU turned into a climb up the career ladder and two more degrees. And who knows what bold moves Andre will come up with next.
“What WGU did for me was take away the fear,” Andre added. He was nervous about classes, his ability to succeed in math courses, and his time commitment.
Andre said WGU helped him feel supported and confident, and set him on a course to succeed in his educational future. “I will always be grateful to WGU for the system, the support, the structure. I feel that anyone who wants to get their degree can just go for it, and you never know what happens after that.”